Clinical Nursing

Unit of study descriptions

NURS5012 Assessment and Clinical Judgement

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Assessment: essay (40%) and online activities (10%) and report (50%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
The ability to undertake a focused and comprehensive patient assessment is fundamental to nursing practice. Undertaking patient assessment allows nurses to gather the requisite information to make sound clinical judgements thus this unit of study places an emphasis on the systematic collection of reliable and valid assessment data. This unit of study examines the knowledge, capabilities and clinical skills required to undertake comprehensive health assessment inclusive of physical and mental health status in complex clinical situations. Underpinning any patient assessment is a detailed understanding of normal physiological processes and the ways in which illness and injury alters these processes. In this unit of study students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to synthesise concepts of altered physiology and patient assessment with the implementation and evaluation of appropriate management strategies.
NURS5059 Foundations of Clinical Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Assessment: essay (50%) and clinical case review (50%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
With the ongoing changes in health care, particularly associated with increase patient acuity, technological development and consumer expectations, nurses are expected to ensure they provide patient care based on the best available evidence. This requires a sound understanding of alterations to normal physiological processes which assists nurses to make decisions about patient assessment and management. Within this unit of study an emphasis will be placed on exploring alterations to key physiological concepts and the associated patient assessment and management. Within in the context of these altered physiological states the acquisition of clinical assessment data, such as that obtained from laboratory and diagnostic testing, will be interpreted and applied to specific patient clinical presentations. Strategies to support evidence-based practice and to maintain physiological function will be examined with students undertaking critical appraisal of treatment guidelines. As part of specialty nursing practice, clinicians are required to have a comprehensive clinical skills repertoire and the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively use research and other information as the basis of their practice thinking. In the context of your area of practice, you will explore the complexity of and uncertainty in practice, while developing discipline-specific knowledge and skills that enable you to build the capacity for clinical judgement and practice.
NURS5061 Expanding Clinical Nursing Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Assessment: essay (40%) learning contract (60%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
Nurses working in senior clinical positions assist in providing care to groups of patients and their families, both directly and indirectly. In doing so nurses must incorporate individual need with the requirements of the department/unit, hospital and area health service. The provision of coordinated patient care is supported by organisational structures at the hospital and area health service level, which are guided by the NSW Department of Health. Nursing practice is also informed by relevant nursing professional bodies and associations.
The aim of this unit of study is to explore local, state, national and international social and political issues that impact on clinical nursing practice in Australia. Within this context issues examined will include concepts such as the development of the specialist nurse, advanced nursing practice and the advanced practice nurse, case management theory, scope of practice, professional guidelines for nursing practice, models of care, service provision and workforce issues that impact on practitioner practice. In this unit, students will explore ways in which government and professional bodies provide information, which supports decision-making regarding the provision of patient care. Additionally, as part of expanding the individual nurse's repertoire, students will be encouraged to broaden their specialty knowledge and nursing practice and will have the opportunity to further develop specialist knowledge and/ or practice related to a specific practice topic.
NURS5062 Clinical Practice and Nursing Work

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Assessment: essay (35%), online journal club (15%) and take home exam (40%) and presentation (10%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
Students will have the opportunity to examine the nature of nursing work in relation to the effects of and assumptions underlying the models of care and ward organisation; organisation of shiftwork; occupational health and safety; workforce supply and demand and the effects of such issues on the agency and professional boundaries of nurses. The unit will examine the nature of nursing work in relation to its industrial and socio-political origins by taking a critical evaluative focus on the perceptions and practices that have shaped the construction of clinical nursing practice. Wider issues such as the impact of the knowledge economy; globalisation and the patterns of global workforce migration; and the increasing use of technology in nursing work will also be explored.
NURS5069 Research in Nursing and Health Care

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Assessment: online activities (30%) critical review (30%) and research plan (40%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
This unit of study will examine and critique established and emerging ways of researching nursing and health care through discussion of the philosophical and theoretical origins of the research traditions and knowledge generation in nursing research. Conceptualisation of research questions, selection of research designs, governance of research and research utilisation in the clinical setting will be explored. Opportunities will be provided to engage in the research process with reference to clinically related situations.
NURS5070 Creating a Culture of Safety and Quality

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Assessment: essay (45%) and case study (55%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
This unit of study pursues a critical analysis of the theoretical constructs and practical applications underpinning good clinical governance in health care organisations. Many studies identify the factors influencing a culture of safety and quality in the clinical environment and most concur with six main domains: the safety climate, teamwork, perceptions of management, working conditions, job satisfaction and stress recognition. These factors and how to influence them positively will be examined in this unit of study utilising a better practice (quality/continuity of care/health outcomes/governance) framework.
NURS5071 Contemporary Health Leadership

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Assessment: essay (50%) and assignment (30%) and reflection (20%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
The need for leadership across all clinical disciplines has been shown to be integral to safe practice and strong staff morale. Providing a clear and unambiguous framework for practice and fostering skills in moral stewardship are known to enable personal growth and strong clinical care. This unit explores a range of issues for clinicians including their legal and ethical obligations, concepts of accountability and collegiality, and strategies to increase resilience and emotional intelligence. It aims to equip nurses to take initiative, create supportive and sustaining clinical environments, have the courage of their convictions, and to celebrate curiosity.
NURS5073 Preventing Adverse Clinical Outcomes

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Assessment: case study (50%) and reflective evaluation (35%) and peer interview (15%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
The acuity and complexity of patients admitted to hospital requires registered nurses to apply advanced assessment skills and immediate interventions in order to detect and prevent further deterioration. Such early detection and early interventions may prevent the development of serious adverse events such as prolonged hospitalisation, an unexpected admission to a critical care unit, or cardiac arrest. In this unit of study students will explore the role of organisational and patient emergency response systems designed to promote early detection of the deteriorating patient and consider how these systems impact on their nursing practice. Students will have the opportunity to further integrate knowledge with technical and non-technical skills for assessing and managing the rapidly deteriorating patient. Specific consideration will be given to incorporating evidence-based principles when making judgements about patient care. The distinctiveness of each student's clinical practice is recognised and students will be expected to explore, in depth, an area of clinical practice relevant to their current work.
NURS5078 Capstone (Workplace)

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Prerequisites: 42 credit points Assessment: presentation (5%) reflective portfolio (35%, 40%) and presentation (20%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
Note: Department permission required for enrolmentin the following sessions:Semester 2
This unit of study will assist students (as potential senior clinicians) to extend their development of a critically informed personal/professional position on the many issues impacting clinical nursing practice and to further develop the skills required to argue that position effectively within current clinical contexts and climates. The unit will provide a framework within which students will explore current professionally relevant clinical and professionally related situations from several perspectives such as those of tertiary and professional education, local, state and federal government policy development and implementation, health services management, workforce and regulatory perspectives. Students will also conceptualise and develop a personal portfolio incorporating the work undertaken during their degree and including guided reflections on their observation and analysis of senior/advanced practice roles in nursing and assess their current state of readiness to undertake the role of a senior clinician within a personally relevant workplace.
NURS5080 Capstone (Research)

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Prerequisites: (42 credit points and NURS5069 Research in Nursing & Health Care) Assessment: thesis (100%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: Distance Education/Intensive on Campus
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit of study will provide an opportunity for students with an interest in research to conduct an in-depth exploration of a topic that you have identified as being of personal professional relevance and/or research interest. To complete this unit you will be expected to work independently selecting, locating and analysing the relevant literature to prepare a scholarly piece of work reviewing current knowledge on the self-identified topic. While you will be expected to pursue your investigation as an independent scholar you will be assisted in your work by regular meetings with the unit coordinator, student colleagues and an academic advisor appointed on the basis of your area of interest as identified by the topic. Your work may be presented in either thesis or journal manuscript formats and will be assessed in a manner appropriate for determining suitability for further research higher degree work.
Students are advised to indicate their interest in undertaking the research capstone to the Director of Postgraduate Studies as they complete the unit of study NURS5069 Research in Nursing and Health Care so that specific academic advice can be provided.
Capstone (Research) is also an important component of the Sydney Nursing School pathway to research higher degree enrolment and students interested in pursuing this pathway should also seek Academic advice from the Director of Postgraduate Studies before enrolling in the second semester of their course.
NURS5091 Simulation-Based Learning in Health

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Assessment: reflection (5%) and online activity (45%) and project (50%) Campus: Mallett Street Mode of delivery: On-line
The use of simulation (the process of mimicking reality in an environment that can be manipulated to reflect real clinical situations) is an educational tool that is becoming increasingly prevalent in health care practice and education. Simulation activities have strong relevance to a broad range of learner levels across health professions providing a safe and controlled learning environment. Simulation can be used in task or situational training areas in order to train clinicians to anticipate certain situations and develop capability to react appropriately. Additionally, simulation has the potential to create a dynamic interprofessional learning environment, facilitating the process of learning through assessment, decision making, evaluation and error prevention or correction within the healthcare team.
This unit of study will provide learners with the opportunity to critically examine the current literature related to the instructional use of simulation in health education and practice. They will become familiar with evolving theoretical frameworks associated with the use of simulation in education and explore concepts related to technical and non-technical skill development such as: participant consent and confidentiality, levels and types of fidelity, models of instruction/tuition, immersive and non-immersive scenarios, virtual reality simulation, debriefing, participant assessment and translation to practice. Students will be encouraged to further expand their clinical and theoretical repertoire by developing a simulated learning experience, based on best evidence, and linked to education outcomes.